Maryland women’s basketball redshirt junior Mimi Collins recently chatted with PressBox about the influence her father had on her as a player, her favorite memory at Maryland and more. The 6-foot-3 Collins averaged 10.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last year. The Terps won the Big Ten last year and enter the 2021-22 season as the No. 4 team in the nation.
PressBox: How did you become interested in basketball?
Mimi Collins: I tried out every single sport and basketball was my last sport that I did. I was like, “I don’t like this, I don’t like that.” Basketball was my last sport and I loved it.
PB: Your father played at UNLV and the University of New Orleans. How much did he help you in basketball?
MC: He helped me out a lot. My dad was my best friend, so when I told him I wanted to play basketball, I think that was the [happiest] day of his life besides me being born. Just being able to play the sport that he loves and me loving it, too, just made our relationship go 10 times better. The more I got older, he played the dad role and I played the daughter role, and it made our relationship better.
PB: You started your college career at Tennessee. Why did you choose to come to Maryland?
MC: To be closer to my parents and also just the environment around here and how the close the girls are. It was just the whole family environment that drew me closer.
PB: What’s your favorite memory so far at Maryland?
MC: That’s kind of hard. We have a lot of memories over here. I would probably say winning the Big Ten [in March 2021] with all of us on the court and we all got to hug [head coach Brenda Frese]. The confetti came down and everything. I think that was one of the big-time highs.
PB: What’s your favorite thing about Maryland and College Park?
MC: I would say just the culture around here. You can walk around campus and say hi to everybody. People are really nice. There’s a lot of hangout spots. You’re close to D.C. I’m close to home, so I can go home. I can go to D.C. I can go anywhere. It’s in the middle of everywhere.
PB: Who’s your best friend on the team and what’s a story that underscores your friendship?
MC: I would say Chloe [Bibby], but I’m cool with everybody. We’re really close. We do a lot of hangouts, a lot of team bonding.
PB: Who was a player you looked up early in your college career?
MC: It was Breanna Stewart and Candace Parker, but on the men’s side it was always LeBron and Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett.
PB: What advice would you give to younger players?
MC: To stay dedicated and love your craft more than anything, because you know all the hard work you’re going to put in and everything and all the dedication you’re going to do, you might not see it in some phases of your life, but if you keep continuing to work hard, you’ll see the growth and all of it will pay off.
PB: What are your goals for after basketball, whenever it ends?
MC: I want to do sports video directing, so being able to do that. I want to do it for the pros — so for WNBA, NBA and NFL.
PB: You’re majoring in cinema and media studies. What made you interested in that?
MC: I’ve always been a behind-the-camera type kid. I was never photogenic, so I loved taking pictures of people, like my friends and stuff, or just recording the videos. But also being an athlete and being able to do that, I get to record other athletes and get to help them with their vision and what they wanted to see.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Maryland Athletics